CHILDREN’S MEDIA CONFERENCE: BBC Worldwide (BBCWW) is adding preschool and family sections to its Global iPlayer on-demand service.
The BBC’s commercial arm launched the Global iPlayer app last year as a paid-for international on-demand service in a bid to better monetise its content, and it has since been launched in territories including Western Europe, Canada and Australia.
At Sheffield’s Children’s Media Conference today, Derren Lawford, Global iPlayer’s head of programming and scheduling, told delegates BBCWW was adding CBeebies-branded preschool and older-skewing Family sections to the service.
They are due to launch this summer across Western Europe. The Global iPlayer already runs programmes such as Something Special, Zingzillas and In the Night Garden.
Lawford added that children’s programming was the third most-watched section on the service, and that 17% of surveyed subscribers said their children used the app too.
Ahead of the launch, BBCWW has secured rights to preschool series such as Mr Bloom’s Nurse in certain territories for CBeebies and all-territory rights to Justin’s House. The presenter of the latter series, Justin Fletcher, will curate a selection of his favourite CBeebies shows for the preschool section.
The Family section will offer content from CBBC, such as Newsround and Deadly 60, classic shows such as Rentaghost and films including The Snow Queen.
“In an on-demand world, parents want to ensure their children can watch shows in a safe, fun, trusted and curated environment. Given its outstanding domestic and international relationship, I can’t think of a better brand than CBeebies to help the Global iPlayer to do just that,” said Lawford.
BBCWW would also look to acquire third-party content and is currently in discussions with distributors, he added.
“By introducing CBeebies and Family to the pilot Global BBC iPlayer, we continue to build on all the work we have done, by closely working with the CBeebies team, to introduce this much loved and unique brand to parents and children around the world,” added BBCWW’s director of CBeebies investment Henrietta Hurford-Jones.
The news comes two days after Lord Sugar unveiled the much-delayed UK IPTV platform YouView.
The service, which is backed by the BBC along with ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT and TalkTalk, will launch as a set-top box this month. Scottish pubcaster STV and News Corp-backed satcaster BSkyB have also signed up as content partners.
It also follows a BBCWW restructure that will see the departure of Jana Bennett, president of worldwide networks and the Global iPlayer, and the formation of a new executive committee of four regional presidents.